Nail Fungus Infections
Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fingernail and toenail infections are quite common and account for approximately one third of all fungal skin infections and half of all nail disease. Dr. Edward Hill discusses these infections in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Fingernail or toenail infection that is caused by a fungus is called onychomycosis (say: on-ee-koh-my-ko-sis). The infection is more likely in toenails than in fingernails.

This infection can make your nails thick and discolored. Because of these changes, your nails may look bad. You may even have pain in your toes or fingertips.

These infections are more common in adults older than 60 years. They are especially common in people with diabetes or circulation problems.

If not treated, a fungal infection may worsen and spread to other parts of the nail, the nail bed and the surrounding skin. Over time, the whole nail may become infected and eventually fall out.

Treatment for a fungal nail infection includes using topical or oral medications, and taking steps to prevent the infection from returning. Without treatment, fungal nail infections tend to get worse, infecting more of the nail or surrounding skin. Early treatment may shorten treatment time and increase your chances of being cured.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.